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Opinions and comments from Future Agricultures researchers on agricultural politics, science and society in Africa


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26 March 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup
March 26, 2015 / Our blog
China to help Ghana build a $1bn solar plant China’s Hanergy Group is investing one billion USD to construct a 400-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Ghana. Hanergy is currently the world’s largest solar power company by market cap and

Policy options for African soils: learning lessons for future action
March 26, 2015 / Our blog
What would a framework for policy and implementation look like? This is much more contested. A variety of ‘models’ – often with rather implicit policy assumptions – are being, or have been, tested. These include (among many others, and different

The long road to African land rights: next steps
The long road to African land rights: next steps
March 25, 2015 / Our blog
Land deals, gender, youth and agricultural investment I made a presentation summarising lessons on large-scale land-based investments, outlining the key policy frameworks – the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in

The visible and invisible battles in Brazil’s agricultural co-operation
March 23, 2015 / Our blog
A diversity of actors, models and practices No longer the exclusive realm of diplomats and agronomists, today Brazil’s agricultural cooperation frontline is populated by politicians, technocrats, consultants, traders and social movement activists, operating in a seemingly independent fashion and taking

20 March 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup
March 20, 2015 / Our blog
Developing the Meat Grab This paper by Mindi Schneider looks at the dramatic effects of Chinese agriculture’s shift towards meat production and how the state’s narrative of ‘food-security’ is crumbling fast. Schneider suggests looking at this phenomenon through a “meat

Why an integrated approach to soil management is essential
March 19, 2015 / Our blog
Experience across Africa demonstrates that a ‘one size fits all’ solution is inappropriate. An integrated approach to soils management is required, mixing different inputs in different amounts for different places. Deriving from extensive research we have learned that:  Radical technological

Homefields and outfields: different sites, different response to soil management
March 10, 2015 / Our blog
These data are from rich Highveld red soils, and the pattern will be different in the majority of sandy or sandy loam soils elsewhere, where loss of organic matter is often more sudden, and very difficult to reverse. Many soils

More than rocket science: the 3 generations of Farmer First
More than rocket science: the 3 generations of Farmer First
March 9, 2015 / Our blog
The three ‘generations’ of Farmer First The first generation represented by the first book on Farmer First covered farmer innovations preceding 1987. The second book, Beyond Farmer First, covered the period between 1987 and 1992. The third book Farmer First

6 March: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup
March 6, 2015 / Our blog
Sudan seeks stronger ties with Brazilian agriculture Sudan’s Minister for Agriculture has said that their country is seeking to attract greater agricultural investments and trade with agricultural companies from Brazil. He cited their interest in chicken and fish farms as

Soils for life: Some cautionary tales for the International Year of Soils
Soils for life: Some cautionary tales for the International Year of Soils
March 2, 2015 / Our blog
There is no doubt that changes in soil structure, losses through erosion and soil fertility decline are important issues. But these global figures are derived from some dubious calculations that are often rather meaningless. Aggregated up from multiple small studies,